I am sitting and watching Kate play, and I realized that since I don’t have her baby book with me, I haven’t been recording what she is doing and what she is like at this age. I want to be able to remember all of the little things about Kate right now that I’m likely to forget over the years, and I decided it would be fun to share my observations on the blog.
Kate begins her day with a few sniffles and a yell or two, and by the time I have picked her up from her pack ‘n play, she has already said her favorite word at least once. “Uh oh” echoes through the apartment, although we’re never sure what she’s uh-ohing about so early in the morning. Until about a week ago, she was waking up around 7 or 7:30 and going to bed around 7PM. Since last week when we had a few late nights, she’s moved her schedule back to 8AM-8PM, and she has decided she doesn’t take morning naps anymore! Since this is a very new development in the Smith household, we’re still having a hard time adjusting, especially since our language lessons are in the mornings during what used to be her nap time. I’ll just keep hoping this is temporary and that she will change her mind about mornings naps very soon.
After she gets up from bed, I bring her into the living room where Bryan and I place our mattress each night, and she nurses and snuggles as we all gradually wake up. The next thing she says sometime during nursing is, “Hi, Da!” This morning she said it many times because Bryan didn’t answer right away. She loves her morning “Hi” from Daddy, and sometimes when she’s finished nursing she crawls over and gives him a kiss on the head or arm or nose. 🙂 She is quite squirmy, and we always tell her that she must not understand what snuggling is. She crawls all over the mattress and all over us, and many times she ends up using one of us as a jungle gym with our heads or noses as push-off points for her little feet as she wiggles all over. 🙂 After that, we all get up and go into the kitchen. Bryan has his tea, I have my cereal, and Kate has her breakfast of fruit, yogurt, cereal, or baby crackers. She signs for “more please,” which is really almost a clap and is pretty much exactly the same sign she uses for “potty,” unfortunately. Since she doesn’t usually sign for potty without being asked, though, we can normally figure out what she needs. Right now she is going through a screaming/squealing stage. She fusses by making a very high-pitched squeal, and when she gets VERY angry (like sometimes in the middle of the night), she screams the squeal and sounds like a ring wraith from LOTR. (Any suggestions are welcome from those of you with older children who have done the same thing or something similar. I suppose discipline at this age could be a whole different post!) So sometimes if I’m not looking and she wants more food, she’ll squeal, and then sign when I turn around. I’m trying to get her to say “Mama” to get my attention instead of screaming, but that hasn’t worked so far since she only says anything close to “Mama” when she’s VERY sad and cries, “Mommmmmmyyyyyyyyy.” She usually eats a very good breakfast.
After we’re all finished with breakfast, as long as it’s not a day for language lessons, Kate plays around the apartment while I get household work done. She babbles and sings little songs to herself while she plays, and she entertains herself very well. Some of her favorite things to play with are Bryan’s metal shoehorn, doors, her shoes (we don’t let her play with ours because they get quite dirty here), a “talking” baby doll that our language tutor gave her for her birthday, and plastic measuring spoons that I brought with me from home. If she finds Bryan’s socks anywhere, she will crawl around with one in each hand, and every once in a while she will snuggle with one up against her nose like she does with her blanket at night as she sucks her fingers, or she will try to eat them. If she finds any crumbs, pieces of leaves, fuzz, or any tiny things at all on the floor, she usually wants to eat them. I have tried to get her not to eat them so many times and have asked her to give them to me instead, and so now if she finds something, she’ll crawl over to wherever I am while pinching the tiny fleck in between her thumb and forefinger, and she’ll hold it up for me to take from her. Lots of times she’s already dropped it and doesn’t realize it, or the thing she “picked up” was a drop of paint on the floor in the kitchen. 🙂 Sometimes she is just about to eat something from the floor when she notices me watching her, and she’ll hold it up high for me instead. She says, “Uh oh!” many times while playing with all of these things. She says it whenever anything drops, of course, but she also says it if she wants to get down from being held, if there is something she wants, or if there is something she sees on the floor, like shoes, her toys, a bird outside on the sidewalk, etc. 🙂 We were watching shot put on tv the other afternoon, and whenever one of the women would throw the shot put, Kate would exclaim, “Uh oh!”
Her language use is rapidly increasing, and every so often she surprises me by coming out with something new. Yesterday, for example, I was praising her for asking for more food nicely instead of yelling, and she said very happily and very clearly, “Okay!” For some reason it reminded me of Virginia when she was little. 🙂 She has started saying some of the words with the signs that we use, such as the one for “All done.” She says, “Ahhhhh duh” when she’s finished eating or finished going to the bathroom and wants to get down from the potty. We started a new sign recently for “Down, please” when she wants me to put her down on the floor, and she often says, “Doooow peas” as she does the sign. One of her other favorite words is “Daddy,” and lots of times she’ll repeat this over an over when he’s gone and she wants to know where he is. Sometimes she says “Hi” or “Hey” and “Bye bye,” but usually she just waves.
Mama sent Kate some socks for her birthday, and since she seemed a little bit chilly, I put a pair on her as I began to type all of this. She came up to me a few minutes ago pulling on them and wanting them off, so I took them off. Now she is happily playing with them, waving them around, putting them down, and picking them up again. 🙂 Maybe I’ll let her play with those and put another pair on her feet. 🙂
Kate is a strong-willed little girl, and she gives us trouble at times with her stubbornness and temper, but she also has lots of times when she is very sweet and loving. She loves to give us kisses, and sometimes she gives hugs and pats on the shoulder. Sometimes her kisses are very forceful and she leads with the forehead so that they’re more like kisses from a little head-butting goat. 🙂
Kate loves music, especially piano music. We have a piano in our apartment right now, and she likes it when I play for her. I played for her the other day while she was eating lunch, and I looked over and she was dancing around while sitting and eating. Then when I was finished, she clapped! She knows how to make her mama feel appreciated. 🙂 She likes to sing her own songs, or to sing along when we sing to her, and she loves it when her Gee (my mother) sings to her on skype. She dances and hums along almost anytime she notices music around her. Lots of times as she is going to sleep she sings little songs in her bed, and last night when she was up in the middle of the night, I heard her singing quietly for a while before going to sleep again.
She doesn’t usually want to eat very much for lunch, unless it’s on Sundays when we eat a late lunch. I haven’t been able to find milk here that has fat in it that doesn’t taste absolutely disgusting, so she is not drinking milk from her cup yet, but she loves drinking water. Sometimes if we’re out to eat, we’ll give her a sip of Sprite or Fanta from a straw, and she likes that, too! Her favorite thing to eat when we go out is chicken mcnuggets from McDonald’s. (By the way, we are VERY impressed with the McDonald’s here. We don’t usually eat there in the States, but the food here seems to be of higher quality and is always hot and tastes fresh. The restaurant is extremely clean and well-staffed, they give Kate a balloon to play with almost every time we go, and the music and menu are in English! Well…I guess the music is, and the menu almost is if you can figure out the spellings, like the “Big Teysti” burger.) Kate eats 6 nuggets by herself, along with a few fries and sometimes a few bites of our burgers. She usually eats more for supper than for lunch, and we’ve discovered that she can be a bit of a picky eater. I don’t know if it’s because her teeth are hurting her or if she’s just being picky, but sometimes she just decides she doesn’t want to eat what we are having for a certain meal, and she’ll just sit there the entire meal and play instead of eating, even if I know she’s hungry.
Kate usually has a little snack and sits in her high chair while I’m making dinner, and after each meal she loves being cleaned off at the sink. She thinks it’s fun to put her hands in the water and grab the faucet, and she likes it when we clean her mouth because she gets to make funny noises and lick the water on our hands. She plays for a while after supper, and she likes to sit in Bryan’s lap while he’s on the computer while I do the dishes. Some nights she takes a bath, and she has recently discovered that baths are FUN! She likes it when the water is higher so she can bob around in it a little bit, and although she still doesn’t like getting water in her ears, she’s doing a lot better with water in general. She likes to splash a little bit, she loves to explore the shiny handle of the water stopper, and she enjoys playing with the water as it comes out of the faucet. After her bath, she always smiles if I turn on the bright lights above the bathroom mirror while I comb her hair.
She usually goes to bed pretty easily. We take her to the potty before bed (and numerous times a day), and she’ll usually go before bedtime. She’s not completely potty trained and we’ve had lots of setbacks in the past few months with all of the changes, sickness, and teething. She’s doing well, though, and whenever she has training pants on, she’ll let me know when she needs to go or just after she wets her pants, and she rarely has dirty diapers or pants but goes in the potty instead. After putting on a clean diaper, I usually sing her a little song and put her in bed, and she goes to sleep without much fussing.
I hope I will be able to make this kind of post a tradition for our children each year around their birthdays. It will be fun to have a record of what they’re like each year.
Oh wait, I just said children, didn’t I? 🙂 As a reward to my readers for making it all the way to the end of this post, now I’ll share some exciting news. I’m pregnant! 🙂 Praise the Lord! 🙂